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Dreams

Poetry

Smoke Memories

My mother and I were alone the night / our house burned down. I was nine that summer, / and the smell of smoke clung to my clothes. / And after the fire a tree in the yard / grew crooked with scoliosis, its back bending / away from the remains of the house.

By Doug Ramspeck October 2023
Quotations

Sunbeams

A memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

January 2022
Poetry

Fifteen Strokes Of Luck

The first was that I was no longer in pain; I could sleep. / The second was that I was finally able to love: all my life I had been more or less shut. / The third was that I lived near a pond. Watching the mallards dunk made me laugh. I was happy looking at dragonflies and even their empty exoskeletons, their shells shaking a little in the wind.

By Ellery Akers October 2021
Poetry

My Mother Is A Peaceful Ghost

In my dreams my mother keeps walking out of the kitchen singing, / You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. / She never sings past the first verse.

By Lisa Dordal April 2021
Fiction

Mark On The Cross

MARK HOHN, a handwritten sign said. DEC. 19, 2013. 17 YRS. Here’s what struck me like a bus. It happened to be Dec. 19. He’d died exactly two years earlier. I sat on the ground before the cross and told myself to pay attention, that this was no coincidence.

By Maria Black March 2020
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sleep Study

I wake at 2:34 AM and lie in bed staring at the ceiling for a couple of hours, beating myself up for having awakened way before it’s time to get up.

By Evan Lavender-Smith October 2019
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Stolen Time

Blind luck put me on this yard where the men have decided to make good use of the empty time forced upon us by the state. Yard A is downright peaceful, nothing like the prison yards where racist convicts stab and assault people.

By Saint James Harris Wood September 2019
The Dog-Eared Page

Handy Tips On How To Behave At The Death Of The World

Eschew blandness. Eschew causing others pain. We are all the target so wear bright colors and dance with those you love.

By Anne Herbert March 2019
Fiction

The Other, Invented Man

For many years — the majority of my life, in fact — acknowledging death’s inevitability exerted little psychological pressure on me. I had no fear of passing, as they say, from this world into the next, or, assuming no next world exists, simply entering oblivion.

By Matthew Vollmer December 2018
Fiction

V.I.P. Tutoring

For a term paper I demanded a Louis Vuitton purse. For a take-home midterm, a Tiffany bracelet.

By Vanessa Hua July 2018